News Briefs: Biden’s State of the Union Touches on ACA, Drug Pricing Reform

President Joe Biden’s health care agenda figured prominently in his State of the Union address on March 7. Regarding the Inflation Reduction Act, the president said he wants to increase the number of drugs subject to Medicare price negotiations to 50 per year, up from 20 under current law. Biden also said he wants to expand the IRA’s $2,000 annual out-of-pocket cost cap for prescription drugs and $35 monthly copay cap for insulin to commercial plans, as they currently only apply to Medicare Part D. Additionally, the president vowed to defend the Affordable Care Act from repeal attempts and make the expanded subsidies that are set to expire after 2025 permanent.

The White House on March 5 unveiled a “strike force” aimed at cracking down on unfair and illegal pricing, focusing on sectors including prescription drugs and health care, food and grocery, housing, and financial services. Set to be chaired by the Dept. of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, the strike force “will strengthen interagency efforts to root out and stop illegal corporate behavior that hikes prices on American families through anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices,” the Biden administration said. The White House simultaneously announced that its Competition Council will soon unveil new actions aimed at slashing credit card late fees, combating high internet costs and supporting small farmers; previously, the council helped drive HHS actions such as cracking down on problematic Medicare Advantage marketing practices.

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AIS Health Staff

AIS Health Staff

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